Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Basil Pesto

Recipe by Mark Pelliccia, chef and co-owner, 25Forty Bistro & Bakehouse

Many chefs cook the kind of food they like to eat. I am simple when it comes to the food I eat. Eggplant parmigiano is my favorite thing. Or a plate of spaghetti with good pesto. Some good bread and cheese and some cold cuts and wine and I am set. My favorite food is simple and comes from farms.

But I also have a sweet tooth and that led me to pastry, which is definitely not simple. It’s creative and fun. With pastry I love to mix flavors and temperatures and textures. I like the artistry, the sugar art, and the fruit carving. Now I am working on a cake for a bridal shower. It’s hard to have that much fun cooking steaks.

I got into cooking when I was ten because my family owned a restaurant and I helped out. I come from a big Italian family and food has always been important to us. When I was about 17, I wanted to go to cooking school in France, but no way would my parents let me go to Paris. We compromised and I went back to Italy, where I have dual citizenship. I worked in a place that didn’t pay much, but I learned a tremendous amount, and then I went to pastry school.

I left Italy because I got sick with cancer. I had a big tumor on my kidney and it took me out of work for a while. I wanted to go back home with my family, so I opened up 25Forty and the rest is history.

Below is my recipe for amazing pesto. But I have to start by saying that to really make this plate traditionally, you need to get the basil from Liguria, where pesto originates. There, the basil is thin and the pesto is so creamy. Prescinseua cheese is also from Liguria. It’s a fresh cheese with a short life span. [Ed. note: It’s a smooth, tangy acid-cured cows’ milk cheese with a texture halfway between ricotta and Greek yogurt.] You can substitute with fresh ricotta* but it’s not the same.

INGREDIENTS

Serves 6

Pesto

  • 4 oz basil, leaves only
  • 1 big clove garlic (or 2-3 smaller cloves)
  • 1-2 oz pecorino romano cheese
  • 2 oz parmigiano cheese
  • 1 oz ( 2 Tb) walnuts
  • 1 oz ( 2 Tb) pine nuts
  • 8 oz (1 cup) olive oil (divided use)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 ounces fresh or dried pasta

For Garnish

  • 3-4 oz potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes (red or “new” potatoes work well)
  • 10-12 string beans
  • 2-3 oz prescinseua cheese (can substitute fresh ricotta)*
  • freshly grated pecorino romano cheese

*Fresh ricotta is not the ricotta in plastic tubs at the supermarket. It may be found at some cheese shops and Italian delis.

HOW TO DO IT

Blanch the basil by dunking it in boiling water for about 20 seconds and then plunging it into ice water. This will keep your pesto from turning brown as quickly. Combine the garlic, pecorino romano, parmigiano, walnuts, pine nuts, and half of the oil in a food processor. Process until the mixture is well combined, somewhere between a paste and a sauce. Add the basil and additional olive oil until the pesto has the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon the pesto into a jar as quickly as possible (Mason jars work well), covering the top with a tablespoon or two of additional olive oil to prevent the pesto from turning dark.

Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Fill a medium pot halfway with water, add the potatoes, and boil for about 30 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, prepare the pasta according to the package directions. While it is cooking, steam the string beans until tender.

When pasta is finished cooking, strain, place in a bowl, add the pesto, and mix. Plate the pasta and garnish with hot string beans, potatoes, a scoop of prescinseua or ricotta, and freshly grated pecorino romano cheese.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

What San Diego restaurant staffs eat, dumpster diving for dinner

How food critic Naomi Wise started her life in San Diego, how food critic Eleanor Widmer ended hers
Next Article

Imperial Beach, town without pretense

Sleeping ban. sandcastle stomping, immigrant shelter, breakwater, Brian Bilbray

Recipe by Mark Pelliccia, chef and co-owner, 25Forty Bistro & Bakehouse

Many chefs cook the kind of food they like to eat. I am simple when it comes to the food I eat. Eggplant parmigiano is my favorite thing. Or a plate of spaghetti with good pesto. Some good bread and cheese and some cold cuts and wine and I am set. My favorite food is simple and comes from farms.

But I also have a sweet tooth and that led me to pastry, which is definitely not simple. It’s creative and fun. With pastry I love to mix flavors and temperatures and textures. I like the artistry, the sugar art, and the fruit carving. Now I am working on a cake for a bridal shower. It’s hard to have that much fun cooking steaks.

I got into cooking when I was ten because my family owned a restaurant and I helped out. I come from a big Italian family and food has always been important to us. When I was about 17, I wanted to go to cooking school in France, but no way would my parents let me go to Paris. We compromised and I went back to Italy, where I have dual citizenship. I worked in a place that didn’t pay much, but I learned a tremendous amount, and then I went to pastry school.

I left Italy because I got sick with cancer. I had a big tumor on my kidney and it took me out of work for a while. I wanted to go back home with my family, so I opened up 25Forty and the rest is history.

Below is my recipe for amazing pesto. But I have to start by saying that to really make this plate traditionally, you need to get the basil from Liguria, where pesto originates. There, the basil is thin and the pesto is so creamy. Prescinseua cheese is also from Liguria. It’s a fresh cheese with a short life span. [Ed. note: It’s a smooth, tangy acid-cured cows’ milk cheese with a texture halfway between ricotta and Greek yogurt.] You can substitute with fresh ricotta* but it’s not the same.

INGREDIENTS

Serves 6

Pesto

  • 4 oz basil, leaves only
  • 1 big clove garlic (or 2-3 smaller cloves)
  • 1-2 oz pecorino romano cheese
  • 2 oz parmigiano cheese
  • 1 oz ( 2 Tb) walnuts
  • 1 oz ( 2 Tb) pine nuts
  • 8 oz (1 cup) olive oil (divided use)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 ounces fresh or dried pasta

For Garnish

  • 3-4 oz potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes (red or “new” potatoes work well)
  • 10-12 string beans
  • 2-3 oz prescinseua cheese (can substitute fresh ricotta)*
  • freshly grated pecorino romano cheese

*Fresh ricotta is not the ricotta in plastic tubs at the supermarket. It may be found at some cheese shops and Italian delis.

HOW TO DO IT

Blanch the basil by dunking it in boiling water for about 20 seconds and then plunging it into ice water. This will keep your pesto from turning brown as quickly. Combine the garlic, pecorino romano, parmigiano, walnuts, pine nuts, and half of the oil in a food processor. Process until the mixture is well combined, somewhere between a paste and a sauce. Add the basil and additional olive oil until the pesto has the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon the pesto into a jar as quickly as possible (Mason jars work well), covering the top with a tablespoon or two of additional olive oil to prevent the pesto from turning dark.

Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Fill a medium pot halfway with water, add the potatoes, and boil for about 30 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, prepare the pasta according to the package directions. While it is cooking, steam the string beans until tender.

When pasta is finished cooking, strain, place in a bowl, add the pesto, and mix. Plate the pasta and garnish with hot string beans, potatoes, a scoop of prescinseua or ricotta, and freshly grated pecorino romano cheese.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Imperial Beach, town without pretense

Sleeping ban. sandcastle stomping, immigrant shelter, breakwater, Brian Bilbray
Next Article

San Diego's punk music, goodbye to Lennon

Reader writers tell favorite music
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close